Monday nights in Café Martinique on Magazine has been transformed into an Italian eatery by an established proprietor, chef and staff from a very successful Houma restaurant by the same name. A special extract of specialty and unusual items from the restaurant’s complete menu of traditional and special Italian dishes has been purposed for New Orleans. Of course, the beautiful ambience of Martinique, both indoors and tented courtyard, are maintained to enhance the dining.
We tried five of the eight appetizers/first courses: Gnocchi
with seared tenderloin and salsa verde – a deliciously unusual combo; Brushetta
– a slightly elevated version of similar restaurant’s offings; Risotto
– a standard for Italian measurement includes spring asparagus, walnuts and citrus ; Saffron fettucine
– with grape tomatoes, torn basil and enhanced with jumbo lump crabmeat; Raviolini al tartuffo
– black truffles, fontina cream and the jumbo lump crab enhancement – a must have! Did not try the chargrilled oysters, Capasente crudo
– Scallops in chili, lime cilantro; nor, Peppardelle con Agnello
– with slow roasted lamb ragu and charred peppers.
We did not sample the two salads – Caprese
but opted rather for the soup – avocado freddo
, Chilled with light touch of habenero oil
and the jlcrabmeat enhancement to make it sooo creamy.
We passed on the Yukon gold Patatine Fritte
to enjoy a great Side of Pecan smoked bacon flavored Brussel Sprouts
with house mustard.
Three of the four Entrees were devoured: Osso Bucco
– veal shank au jus over saffron pea risotto and beautiful baby carrots; Vitello
– Veal scallopine with prosciutto di Parma. Melted fontina, flash fried sage over cauliflower mash – WOW; Anatra
– ciabatta crusted Duck breast over charred lemon risotto with arugula. We only skipped the Pesce
– seared salmon with cucumber jalapeno slaw infused with mint oil.
Finally, we delighted in the homemade cannoli
whose shell was like butta and the cappuccino gelato
with blueberries, topped with mint.
Several martini varieties were followed up by a nice selection of whites and reds.
Needles to say, we shared this feast among five diners and left overstuffed!
Link to food and restaurant pics -http://www.meetup.com/the-new-deal/photos/14896962/
The best about this pop up is it so good that it will convert to a full restaurant.